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10 Handy Instant Messenger Safety Tips

Internet messenger is one of the many communication tools that have become available to us because of the proliferation of the use of the World Wide Web. It is very similar to SMS, except that you are using the Net and your computer instead of your mobile phone.

The benefits of IMs are many. With this tool you can chat and communicate with anybody anywhere for free. Some Internet messengers even give you the option to call, if you have a microphone and speaker, or see the person you are calling or chatting with real-time, if you have a web cam.

In order to enjoy the full benefits of instant messengers, you need to know how to use it safely. The Internet is rife with companies and people whose main objective is to scam or bully other people. Below are some handy tips that can help you make your instant messenger experience a happy one:

Be Careful With Your Screen Name

It is always prudent to use a that is generic and safe. Make sure that the screen name you use for instant messengers do not reflect your gender, age or any personal information. Moreover, you should try using screen names that is under the GP category instead of R18 so that you won’t attract perverts or other shady characters.

It is also advisable not to use your real name as your screen name. If you are a doctor from Florida and your name is Manny, you should not use Florida’s Doc Manny as your screen name because scammers and fraudsters can surely track you and attack you.

Entertain Only The People That You Know

One good thing about instant messengers is that you can choose the people whom you want to talk or chat with. Thus, if a person sends you an IM and you do not know who he or she is, then you can opt to ignore that person and don’t save it on your contact list.

Never Give Out Personal Information

You should never give out any personal, let alone financial, information to people that you do not know. In fact, it is not really that advisable to give out any data, especially your bank account number, pin number, etc, via the Internet even to people you know because there are many program and software on the Net that harvests important data such as these. You need to keep in mind that and fraudsters are good in finding ways to trick you into giving your personal details so you should be very careful.

Reject Downloadable Files or Free Software

Talking or chatting with strangers is already dangerous so downloading or installing software from people that you do not know is downright careless. These files might have viruses and other security threats so you should really be very cautious.

Do Not Save Your Log On Details In Shared Computers

You should not save your log on details on shared computer, such as the ones in cyber cafes or Internet shops. If you have difficulty remembering your user name and password, just write it down or save it on your mobile phone.

People who have access to these shared computers can use your screen name to defraud or scam the people on your contact list. You are not only putting yourself at risk, but also the lives and money of the people you love by carelessly saving your details on shared computers.

Do Not Use IM At Work

Although many people use IM at work, it doesn’t mean you have to follow them. Remember that all the conversations you enter on your office computer can be retrieved and used against you by your employer. Using company resources for personal gains is really very unprofessional, not to mention unsafe.

Do Not Agree To Personally Meet Someone You Met On IM

No matter how many movies or books write about how they found their Mr or Ms Right in chatting services and , you still have to be careful in arranging a meeting with a stranger you just met on the Net. Although there is a chance that the person you are meeting is a good person, there is also a 50% chance that the stranger you are exchanging messages with is a criminal or a serial killer or rapist. It is always better to be safe than sorry in the end.

Install A Firewall

Make it harder for unscrupulous individuals to harm your computer by installing a firewall. Remember conmen (or women) and other dishonest people or group prey on easy targets.

Protect Your PC From Malicious Software

It is imperative that you buy anti-virus and anti-spyware software so that you are not vulnerable to threats and attacks, especially if you are fond of using chat rooms and instant messenger services.

Know Your Cyber Ethics

It always pays to be nice and kind when you are chatting with anybody via the Internet even if you do not know whom you are dealing with. Remember, everybody can be traced. Use Managed PC Care

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